AKF S.A. Open Tournament June 2010
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12/06/2010: AKF SA Open Tournament
Eight members of the State Team competed in the recent Australian Karate Federation South Australian Open Tournament. For all but State Team Coach Sensei Jeremy Thompson, it was the first time that the other competitors had competed under AKF rules and with the AKF approved sparring equipment. For this Tournament, our competitors only entered Kumite, due to the strict requirements for Kata competition under AKF rules. At AKF competitions, all Kata Divisions are judged first and then Kumite follows. It was very interesting watching the kata competition, especially James Giuliano who is Australia's number one AKF Kata athlete for the past five years & has achieved great international accolades. In 2008, he won Silver in the Dutch Open & The Morocco International. In 2010, James achieved a new level as he won Bronze at the prestigious 'Golden League' - Italian Open. His great speed, strength & pure finesse was certainly amazing to watch. There were several other competitors in the Open Kata events and all performed to a high standard. Well worth watching to understand the requirements for top level Kata competition.
After the early lunch break, it was on to the Kumite events. Alan Gillert was up first in the Under 75kg male event and lost his bout to the eventual winner. Alan was placed equal third. The girls were up next and Dragana Calic and Lesley McDonald both narrowly lost their bouts to very strong competition. Dragana and Lesley were placed equal third in their events. The over 75kg competition had Ben Juett, Jeremy Thompson, Daniel Tregenza and Seb Nazar all compete strongly but without success. Daniel sparred for third place but missed out.
Next up was Jason Spiteri, competing in the 12-13 year boys event and he did exceptionally well, winning all three of his bouts to take out the Gold Medal. It looked like the Battle of the Gladiators, with all the protective equipment that the Juniors have to wear. He adjusted well to both the equipment and the AKF Rules and received praise from Matt Johnson, the AKF National Kumite Coach for his performance. The final event for the day was the Open Male Kumite and once again, Ben, Jeremy, Daniel and Seb competed but without success. Jeremy and Seb made it through to the repecharge rounds for the third place bouts but lost to their more experienced opponents.
Although the day was not a great success result wise, it was a great learning experience for all competitors, against AKF State and Australian representatives. The girls had two bouts each and most of the guys three bouts, so it was invaluable learning towards making the next step in competition. Just watching the Kata and Kumite gave plenty of food for thought for future directions. There was good support from State Team members on the day and all enjoyed the competition. There may be another Open Competition later this year so don't miss it.
No Aliens down there
Ben Juett vs Russell Dimech